In Brief

A third of NHS doctors trained overseas, raising fears of staffing crisis

Over-reliance on foreign staff means medical profession at 'crunch point' as many turn their back on Brexit Britain

The health watchdog has warned of a staffing crisis after revealing that a third of NHS doctors come from overseas - and in some areas significantly more.

 The General Medical Council (GMC) said the over-reliance on doctors trained abroad meant the medical profession was now at a “crunch point”, as many medics turn their back on Britain in the wake of Brexit.

Forty-three per cent of doctors in the East of England are non-UK graduates, along with 41% in the West Midlands and 38% in the East Midlands - compared with the national average of 33%. These are all areas that voted heavily to leave the EU.

The GMC said while the number of registered doctors had increased by just 2% over the past five years, there has been a 28% rise in A&E admissions, creating an unsustainable strain on existing NHS staff.

Charlie Massey, chief executive of the GMC, told The Daily Telegraph: “We have reached a crucial moment - a crunch point - in the development of the UK’s medical workforce. The decisions that we make over the next five years will determine whether it can meet these extra demands.”

He called for changes in training to create a workplace culture that nurtures doctors and “allows us to be swift and agile in carrying out our primary duty - keeping patients safe - while reducing the stress and burden on doctors and the wider healthcare system”.

However, Professor Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, highlighted the problems faced by the medical profession as demand increasingly outstrips supply. With an ageing population, she said the low numbers of new doctors entering geriatric and acute internal medicine was of particular concern.

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